Former Minnesota Vikings Co-Owner Slapped With 75 Month Jail Term for Processing $750M Worth of Crypto Transactions
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced on June 5 that the former co-owner of Minnesota Vikings, Reginald Fowler, has been sentenced to 75 months in prison for processing more than $700 million of unregulated transactions on behalf of crypto exchanges. Folwer was also ordered to pay a “forfeiture of $740,249,140.52 and restitution in the amount of $53,189,261.80 to the Alliance of American Football.”
Fowler’s Lies ‘Exposed the U.S. Financial System to Serious Risk’
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced on June 5 that Reginald Fowler, the former co-owner of Minnesota Vikings, has been sentenced to 75 months in prison “for arranging to process more than $700 million of unregulated transactions” on behalf of cryptocurrency exchanges. In addition, Fowler has been ordered to pay a “forfeiture of $740,249,140.52 and restitution in the amount of $53,189,261.80 to the AAF (Alliance of American Football).”
As per a statement issued by U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, Fowler was also punished for misrepresenting the true nature of his business and for lying about his net worth. Detailing Fowler’s alleged criminal activities which also threatened the country’s financial system, Williams said:
Reginald Fowler evaded federal law by processing hundreds of millions of dollars of unregulated transactions on behalf of cryptocurrency exchanges as a shadow bank. He did so by lying to legitimate U.S. financial institutions, which exposed the U.S. financial system to serious risk. He then victimized a professional football league by lying about his net worth in exchange for a substantial portion of the league.
Fowler’s ‘Illegal Money Transmission Service’
Citing court documents, U.S. Attorneys said sometime in 2018, Fowler began working with crypto companies that touted themselves as platforms that enabled individuals to seamlessly swap fiat currency for cryptocurrency. However, at the time, many United States-based banks were unwilling to have dealings with crypto exchanges. To overcome this challenge, Fowler’s crypto firms “lied to banks in order to open accounts that were used to process cryptocurrency transactions without the banks’ knowledge.”
In just ten months of operating the unlicensed business, Fowler and his partners had “processed approximately $750 million in cryptocurrency transactions in various currencies.”
Concerning Fowler’s reported acquisition of a significant stake in the American football league, the statement claimed that the former co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings had “falsely claimed personal ownership of GTS funds that, in fact, belonged to clients of his illegal money transmission service.”
In addition, U.S. attorneys also accused Fowler of failing to disclose to the AAF the seizure of GTS funds by the government just before his investment in the league. Fowler’s lies are one of the factors that forced the AAF to declare bankruptcy in 2019, the attorney’s statement added.
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